Every time you open a new packet of coffee, it releases a unique aroma that you want to preserve over time and find in every cup you savour. But the passage of days, heat and storage slowly fade that unique full-bodied smell from your coffee blend.
To make every cup of espresso coffee special, we reveal the secrets of how to preserve the taste of coffee and prolong the explosion of aromas that pervaded you when you opened it.
How can you keep the organoleptic characteristics of coffee unaltered over time? What is the right way to store coffee?
Two indications appear on coffee packages:
- the expiry date and
- the words “store in a cool, dry place”.
In reality, it is difficult to understand how to keep a coffee with an intense aroma for as long as possible once the packet has been opened.
The use-by date refers to the unopened packet. And since coffee is a dry product, it cannot spoil if packaged properly. So no harm done! At most, it may lose some characteristics after the expiry date.
How do you store coffee after opening?
The biggest question is about the cool, dry place.
Some people believe that the best place to store coffee is in the refrigerator. Others try to preserve the taste by choosing the type of container in which to store it once it has been opened.
But there are many ways to keep the characteristics of coffee unchanged over time.
The first factor you should pay attention to is the amount of product you consume.
The format should be chosen according to the portions contained, to preserve the freshness of the coffee. In fact, coffee oxidises in contact with oxygen, and it is good practice to keep the packaging open for as little time as possible.
What spoils coffee?
Coffee is a porous foodstuff and becomes more delicate with roasting. If not stored properly, it changes quickly.
Consider that ground coffee, which is more delicate than beans, degrades in just two hours. The coffee’s aromas are dispersed into the air, and 50% of them vanish in two days. A cup of espresso loses its taste in just two minutes.
The surface of the beans, in contact with atmospheric agents, changes until the taste of the coffee is completely ruined. The single action of basic weathering can therefore be detrimental to the proper preservation of coffee.
The words ‘keep in a cool, dry place’ therefore indicate that, in order to preserve the coffee powder or beans for as long as possible, they should be stored away from their worst enemies:
- light sources;
- temperature changes, particularly heat;
Packaging has a very important function in keeping coffee away from light.
Have you ever noticed that commercial packaging is dark and there are no transparent coffee bags?
This is one of the factors you need to keep in mind when handling coffee on a daily basis.
Temperature changes can occur at any time of the year. However, they are more frequent in summer, when excessive heat is a real deterrent to storing coffee.
Air and humidity are agents that you have to deal with every day, because every time you open the container, they are lurking.
One annoying risk is contamination with other odours.
Have you ever drunk coffee that smells like a refrigerator?
Coffee is a very porous substance and easily absorbs odours, particularly in incorrectly closed jars or in unopened packaging.
Can it be stored in the fridge?
One of the most frequent doubts of coffee lovers is whether or not to store it in the refrigerator.
There are two different positions on this issue.
Considering that ground coffee and coffee beans are sensitive to moisture and temperature changes, you should avoid storing coffee in the refrigerator. In fact, opening and closing the refrigerator door several times a day would expose the coffee to cold and temperature variations and risk creating moisture inside the container.
On the other hand, there are supporters of refrigerated storage who believe that coffee should only be stored in the fridge if the container follows very precise rules:
- it must be hermetically sealed;
- it must not have a transparent surface, so as not to allow light to filter through;
- the container must be clean.
Storage in the refrigerator can be very useful in summer and when coffee is not consumed every day, as it keeps the coffee away from heat and preserves the aroma over time.
And what about the freezer?
The established fact is that coffee should not be stored in the freezer, where it loses its aroma and its natural fats are damaged.
How do I store coffee in the right way?
Coffee is a foodstuff rich in fats, which are deposited on the outside of the bean after roasting. Fats are very delicate and can oxidise or deteriorate in contact with atmospheric agents.
To preserve the organoleptic characteristics of your coffee and prevent the fats from going rancid, simply store your coffee with two precautions:
- use an airtight container for storage;
- store your coffee in a “cool, dry place”.
An airtight seal prevents air and moisture from entering the container, thus preventing the formation of condensation. The container (glass is also fine) should be dark to prevent light from filtering in and reaching the coffee. Choose a jar that is suitable for the amount of coffee you intend to store: this will reduce the volume of air inside the jar.
Always take care of the hygiene of the jar and wash it before filling it with a new pack of coffee.
The most suitable jars for storing coffee are those used for vacuum packing, which are equipped with manual or mechanical pumps.
The ideal place to store coffee is at a temperature of between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius maximum. The air humidity should not exceed 50%. It is usually best to store the coffee container in a closed cupboard, not exposed to sunlight.
Remember that coffee fears heat and heat sources, so avoid shelves near radiators, ovens, cookers or motorised appliances such as fridges, freezers and dishwashers.
Try to keep it in stable conditions, so that it does not undergo temperature changes and does not come into contact with agents harmful to its preservation.
How to store ground coffee
In addition to the general guidelines, it is important to treat coffee according to the type of processing it undergoes. Ground coffee, which is usually the most common in Italian homes, is more porous and permeable. For this reason it should be stored in the vacuum pack until it is opened.
Once the packet has been opened, it can be stored in the packet or in an airtight jar. If you want to have coffee that tastes as good as at the bar also at home, it is important that the powder is kept away from air and moisture.
How to store coffee beans
Coffee beans retain the aroma and characteristics of the blend longer than ground coffee.
This is less practical, but allows you to store your coffee for longer. The powder is more porous and its aroma disperses more quickly.
In order to make the best use of coffee beans and enjoy an excellent espresso, it is important that the beans are ground close to consumption and that only the amount needed at the time is prepared.
The smell of coffee coming out of a freshly opened packet can inebriate coffee lovers and make them dream. But coffee, whether in powder or bean form, is a very delicate product, and in order to maintain its aromatic characteristics once opened, a few precautions must be taken.
To store coffee properly, it should be placed in an airtight container and kept away from air and heat sources. Coffee should not be subjected to temperature changes and loses some of its aroma if stored in a humid environment. Atmospheric agents are the main cause of the loss of taste in coffee, so you should always protect it from: air, humidity, heat and light sources.
Ideally, you should set up a coffee corner in your kitchen, where you can store your coffee properly and immerse yourself in the taste of a good espresso, whenever you want.
With Pontevecchio home coffee machines you can have a coffee as good as the one in the bar, and ensure that its aroma is preserved for longer.
A professional coffee machine, in fact, helps you not to lose the characteristics of the coffee and to keep the flavour of your coffee unaltered over time. Contact us for more information on Pontevecchio lever coffee machines.
Keep your coffee in the right way and enjoy its aroma at all times thanks to Pontevecchio professional coffee machines.